Revamping Your SEO Game Plan for 2017 and Beyond

There’s a lot of whisper going on in the online marketing community that SEO is dead. Go on any Web marketing blog or discussion forum, and you will hear all sorts of theories about why SEO is no longer viable. While some of these theories have some degree of validity rooted in them, the truth is that SEO is far from dead and will likely be around for as long as there is a need for online content.

SEO is in a Never-Ending State of Metamorphosis

What’s really going on is that SEO is always changing, which gives it a perception that it’s falling out of favor when in fact businesses merely need to make modifications. Most businesses that have been around during the Internet’s heyday likely remember the good old days when a site can quickly jump on top of the SERP by creating content by the quantity and stuffing them with keywords. Of course, this resulted in thousands of barely readable content all over the Web. Over the years, we saw Google address these issues with the rollout of major algorithm changes like the Panda and Penguin. While this resulted in a better user experience, for a marketer, it meant having to adapt to new rules or else face the consequences of penalization or even being blacklisted altogether.

Make it About Quality, Not Quantity

Creating quality content is what you should already be doing. One of the golden rules of SEO has always been about creating content for human readers and not for the search engine. This rule of thumb matters even more so now. Content should also be more informative and be centered on a specific question around a given niche.

Those who keep up with Google’s current updates are aware that Hummingbird is the latest search algorithm. So what does this mean for SEO? Hummingbird is designed around the conversational search concept. These days, it’s more about mobile platforms and what people speak into their devices when looking up information. Users are more likely to use full grammatical sentences when talking into their tablets or smartphones, and the latest algorithm is better able to understand the user’s intent and semantic meaning of each individual word. What marketers need to do then is create high quality content that addresses the question or issue of what people are asking when using their mobile devices.

Get Acquainted with Social Media

Before, it was all about keywords. Nowadays, it’s more about having a strong social media presence. For every piece of content you create, don’t be shy about disseminating it through social media channels. This means getting your friends to share, comment and hit the “like” icon.

Also, being active on social networks means going beyond Facebook; yes, Mark Zuckerberg’s mega successful social network has over one billion users to date and leaves practically all others behind in the dust. However, other networks appeal more to a certain demographic and may have tools that may make them more viable for generating higher ROI. Pinterest, for example, is better suited for companies that sell physical products that can be showcased through photos and videos. Likewise, LinkedIn is useful for B2B interactions.

It’s now a known fact that content with a high social media presence rank better in the search engines, so that is a whole other incentive right there for taking advantage of the social network sphere. By all means, continue to build backlinks, submit content to article directories and post as a guest blogger. However, actively promoting your content through multiple social media outlets will pay far more dividends in the long-run.

Outsourcing is the Best Solution

By outsourcing, this doesn’t mean looking for a SEO company that promises 1,000 submissions for $20. Such sites are still around and often use article spinners to create unreadable articles that are sent to multiple, low ranking directories and blogs. To make matters worse, those submissions are all sent at once, without the option for a drip feed submission.

Outsource your SEO to a reputable company that offers a diverse approach. Aside from SEO, this should also include social media, local SEO, email marketing, marketing consulting, analytics and so forth.

Contrary to what some may say, SEO is not dead; it’s just that it has evolved into a whole new ball game. More than ever, SEO entails full utilization of social media and the creation of informative content.

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Why SEO Is A Vital Part Of Your Online Presence

Years ago, not very many people knew what SEO was. Most people did not understand what this was, or why they needed it for their business. Times have changed, and more people recognize that SEO is a crucial part of managing their online presence. In this short article, I will discuss why your business needs SEO going forward.

Think for a minute about the last time you Google’d something on your phone, either by typing or talking. When was that? I am guessing that it was not very long ago. What were you searching for? Was it a product, or service? Were you happy with the results displayed? Do you ever wonder how Google “chooses” those sites to display?

The answer to that is SEO, or search engine optimization.

When someone uses Google to search for something, they will have loads of highly relevant results right after their fingertips. The top will most likely be ads, and then there can be maps results displayed if it is a service niche type search. IE – dallas roofing company.

Below there will be the #1 organic listing. Click heat maps show that right there is the best place to be, and that a good percentage of people click the #1 organic listing, as opposed to the top ads. Why is that?

Psychologically, we all love to buy. On the contrary, we hate being sold to! Ads simply scream SELL SELL, and our subconscious has us skip over them most of the time and see what the organic results bring.

This is where you want to be! SEO is what will get you there.

No matter what type of business you have, SEO is something you could profoundly benefit from. As opposed to ads, SEO does not turn off. Whether you use an SEO company, or do it yourself, your rankings SHOULD stick pretty well once you achieve your desired results. In more competitive niches, you may have to continue SEO’ing your site, but not as aggressively as you did to get there.

Securing Your Brand

How would it feel to search for your brand or company name and have a bunch of other stuff come up, things like negative reviews, your competitors websites, or even worse, nothing pertaining to your business at all?

SEO can help your business secure it’s brand, as well as show up at the top of search engines when a person searches for the products and or services that your business offers.

How SEO Works

Search Engine Optimization professionals always have their thumb on the pulse of SEO. Things change fast in this realm, and if you don’t keep up with the times, your site will not perform very well for you. In fact, outdated SEO techniques can get your site penalized, and believe me you don’t want that.

A good SEO will start by taking care of the on site factors. Most people that build a website have no idea about on page SEO, or that it even exists, but in reality search engine optimization is very much a 2 part game, consisting of on page and off page strategies.

On Page can be things like:

URL
Titles
Meta Descriptions
Content

Off Page is things like:

Social Signals
Links to the Site
Anchor Text

Nail both of these things down, and you will have yourself some top rankings!

Conclusion

More and more people are simply grabbing their phones and plugging in a quick search to find what they want. The bottom line is that if your business is not utilizing SEO they are without a doubt leaving a lot of money on the table. One thing I know that EVERY business owner wants, is more cash flow. SEO is absolutely a service that can help you grow your customer base, and that means something.

If you are a still a firm believer in the phone book, search engine optimization may not be for you. In many cases, a quality person or company will have significant fees to help your business get the rankings you want. The good thing is, with SEO the traffic will continue, even after you stop paying, while with ads that is not the case.

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SEO Practices That Will Harm Your Google Rankings

Getting Poor Quality Guest Posts

It is okay to feature new writers on your site or publish content provided by other writers as long as they are original, relevant and helpful to your targeted audience. If not, it would be best not to publish them by any means.

Though publishing new content regularly may be a good SEO practice, it is important as well to maintain a balance between the content coming from your website and that being offered to your website in return for a link in the bio of the author.

Cloaking or Invisible Text

Hiding the real link destination, also known as cloaking, and showing pages with different versions to users and crawlers used to be commonly practiced but not anymore. Actually, using these techniques is not good at all.

You should be consistent with your pages and show only one version to search engine users and crawlers, as well as make sure that users can distinguish website content from ads.

Too Much Ads over the Fold

It is bad SEO for websites to have several ads that can be seen even without scrolling (over the fold), and Google is likely to punish this. When you see a sudden drop in traffic, you need to check if the page layout algorithm had an effect on your site.

All Kinds of Paid Links

It takes time to build a successful website/blog, and requires a lot of hard work and patience to come up with content as well as get valuable natural backlinks. If you would rather take shortcuts than doing what it’s right, you may be successful at the start but soon, this can result to failure.

Buying any kind of link is a bad practice, which will be discovered by Google in due time. This will surely cause you to lose your rankings and require you to exert more effort to accomplish something good online.

Stuffing of Keywords

Including the same keywords time and again to optimize your content and not because they are relevant and useful is also a very bad SEO practice.

It will not only discourage your visitors from reading your content and interacting, but it will also warn search engines that you intend to deceive them, and manipulate their algorithms.

It is enough to naturally include your keywords in the title, description, first paragraph and a number of times in the text.

Guest Posting to get Links

Just last year, many people claimed that guest posting was a surefire way to get back links to your site. It can probably do just, that but when done in am improper and cheap manner, it can harm your rankings.

It is okay to guest post on high quality websites relevant to your niche for the purpose of getting more exposure and recognition and not just to get a link.

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